Courses on the sociology of religion frequently use sacred texts (eg the Torah, the Vedas, and the Qoran, among many others) to teach history and sociological analysis. These classes require students to approach these texts in a critical way. Students may be accustomed to approaching sacred texts as infallible, unquestionable, or single-authored, and...
- Subject Area(s):
- Language/Social Linguistics, Qualitative Methodology, Religion, Research Methods
- Resource Type(s):
- Class Activity, PowerPoint
- Class Level(s):
- College 100, College 200
- Class Size(s):
- Medium, Small
This lesson plan was designed for an in-person meeting of an undergraduate sociology of religion course, to explore the impact of translation and the difficulties of analyzing contentious texts respectfully. It could easily be adapted to serve online and graduate-level courses as well. Similarly, while this example uses the Tanakh, any sacred text with...
Learning Goals and Assessments
1: Students will engage with religious texts respectfully and critically.
- 2: Students will become aware of their preexisting schemas for sacred texts and incorporate new approaches into those schemas.
3: Students will identify how translation changes meaning.
- 4: Students will apply their new understandings to personally important texts.
- 1: Student comprehension and ability to critically address texts can be assessed by their responses during a 5-10 minute free write in which they analyze personally meaningful text critically, with an eye to both its values and its flaws, as well as its cultural context.
- 2: Student metacognition can also be assessed by their responses during a 5-10 minute free write, in which they will identify which schemas they are using, and what new information they have added to them.
- 3: Student comprehension can be assessed through their responses during in-class pair work, where they will analyze the differences in meaning created by varying translations and relate those changes to their overall perceptions of the text.
- 4: Student ability to transpose this knowledge to other texts can be assessed via the free write, where they are asked to apply the techniques from the lesson to a personally important text.